Its the 27th and time for another Daring Bakers' challenge! At at a time when I am desperately torn between my restricted diet and the inexplicable pull of my new oven, came these apt recipes from our hostess this month, Sarah. Sarah from All Our Fingers In The Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!
Been waiting to tell you, I got my new big oven at last! A Morphy Richards 40 liter OTG which occupies its place of pride in my dining area. Its another matter that my already crowded kitchen counter looks rather too overcrowded now as it had to accommodate my microwave and an induction stove too. Not that it really matters to me as I am so very happy to get my oven after a really long wait. Happier as it happens to be a gift from my father. Though am no stranger to an OTG, am still getting used to my new one - each one has a mind of its own as they say! Have mini bundts, Swiss Rolls, baguettes, large batches of tuiles on my mind, but am content with baking safer bakes like crackers, biscotti and granolas for the time being. Better that way as I will feel less sad burning these rather than over baking pound cakes or doughnuts.
Back to the crackers, I baked these onion crackers - which we absolutely loved! Crisp onion and poppy seed flavored ones which remind you of the famous famous Maddur Vada!! I made these 3-4 times, in small batches of course. Each time, they were gone fast, some as munchies and some as an accompaniment with hot rasam and rice! Oh, they sure were yum and will be definitely made again and again, goes high on my list of keepers!
Onion and Poppy Seed Crackers : I have quartered the recipe as I am not blessed with patience and I liked them best when made with the sticky dough rolled really thin without using a whole lot of flour. You may find making these more efficient and faster if you use a silicon mat.
Onion puree - 1/4 cup (pls read note)
Egg - 1/4 large egg / 12 grams of one whisked whole egg
Vegetable oil - 20 ml
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
All-purpose (plain) flour / maida 70 grams
Baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Poppy seeds (raw) - 1/2 tablespoon
Granulated sugar - 3/4 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper - 1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste)
Fresh coriander, 1-2 teaspoons, finely chopped, very well squeezed to have no moisture( read note)
- Sift the flour, salt, sugar, pepper, baking power together twice. Stir in the poppy seeds. Keep aside.
a medium sized bowl, take the onion puree. Add the egg, oil and blend
with a fork until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture.
- Mix well until the dough is fully combined. The dough will be very sticky, that's alright. Grease your counter. Lightly knead the dough for 2 minutes, though it will be tough to. If you have to add more flour, add very little, about a teaspoon. I preferred the ones to which I did not add additional flour while kneading. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more to suit your convenience. Overnight works fine too. The dough will be firmer after refrigeration.
- Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line your baking sheets with parchment and grease lightly.
- Even after refrigeration this will be a very soft dough. If you have mixed a large portion of dough, you may want to take out only a part of it. Lightly flour your rolling pin and counter, take tiny balls of dough, roll as thinly as possible. Place them on the lined sheet. If you cant roll them as thin as you want, place them on your parchment lined baking tray and then spread them with your finger tips to make them thinner. Brush off any excess flour with a dry silicon brush.
- You could roll large portions of dough, cut out the crackers with a cutter . But I did not want to use too much flour or roll them thicker, so rolling them thin with tiny balls worked better for me-taste wise! Unless you roll the dough thick or use much of flour, its tough to lift the thinly rolled soft dough onto the baking sheet as they will tear.
- As the crackers bake
pretty fast and you surely don't want them to burn while you multi-task,
you may want to use multiple trays, roll 2-3 sheets of crackers at one
go and then bake them in succession.
Please Note : You can add a green chilli or a pod of garlic while pureeing the onion, but do not add too many things (such as mint, coriander., garlic, more chillies) as your dough may become very sticky and tough to roll out. Or u may end up using less of onion in the puree when you measure which may not give a predominant onion flavor. If you want to roll the crackers really thin, chopped coriander or chillies in the dough will make it difficult to roll.
Luke warm water - 60 ml / 1/4 cup
Milk - 60 ml / 1/4 cup
Instant yeast - 1/2 teaspoon
All-purpose (plain) flour / maida - 195 grams / 1 1/2 cups, plus more for rollingExtra virgin olive oil 20 ml - 1 1/2 tablespoons (aprox)
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar 1/2 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm)
sea salt, for sprinkling
Freshly ground pepper (use generously) and white sesame seeds as needed
Fresh rosemary or thyme - 2 tablespoons
Optional - 1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water, for egg wash ( I did not use any as I was using milk in the dough)
- In a medium sized bowl, mix the
lukewarm water and milk. Add the instant yeast ( if using active dried
yeast, let stand for about 5 minutes till foamy and then proceed), add
the oil. Mix the flour, salt, sugar very well. Stir in flour mixture,
bring it together, turn on a lightly floured surface and knead for about
3 minutes till you get a smooth dough. The dough must not be sticky or
- Place dough in a greased dough rising container or in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around in the bowl so that it is also lightly oiled on the surface. Cover with the lid or greased cling wrap. Let stand in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour. (as the amount of yeast is less, it takes some time to double)
- Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Keep your toppings ready. Line your baking sheets with parchment. Divide dough into 8 or more equal portions (depending on your tray size and size of crackers you want to bake) and cover with plastic wrap.
- Flour your counter lightly, roll out each piece thin (mine was about 3 mm at a guess) sprinkling the sesame seeds, salt and pepper halfway through so that the seeds are rolled in. Or brush with the egg mixture (if using) and sprinkle with sea salt, sesame seeds, pepper or herbs. Transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake, rotating sheet halfway through baking, until crisp and golden, for about 12-14 minutes ( or more depending on the thickness). Watch carefully as they turn dark brown or burn quite fast. I burnt some as I went out to gush about how many I could fit in the big oven at one go to hubby :) Let cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Eat as is or with hummus or a red pepper dip.
Thanks for these super recipes Sarah, these will be a regular in my kitchen now! Check out the creations of my fellow Daring Bakers!
The flatbreads are Yeast Spotted!